There are many ways to understand behaviours, and while I often try and analyse the behaviour in terms of the brain structures that are involved, it is always important to remember the person and their experiences. It often helps to consider the type of work or activities that they did, and other life experiences. For example, one woman constantly asked to go to the bathroom. A family member recalled a story that his mother had often told about a teacher who did not give permission. One of the little girls had urinated on her chair, and the teacher further shamed her by making her stand in the corner. Many years later, in a way that she could no longer fully express, this experience was a way to understand why she behaved as she did now. In this case, it did not give us a way to reduce the behaviour, but it did allow us to understand it a little better.
Better understanding of complicated problems like obsessive behaviour is one of the long-term goals of this website. By seeing how often obsessive behaviour is targeted for treatment, and how often it responds to treatment, we hope to better understand its neurobiology.